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News Release
Portland Community College stands behind Paris Agreement - 11/05/19

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College, a national award-winning institution for its comprehensive sustainability efforts, vocalized its displeasure with the Trump Administration’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“This is a short-sighted decision that shirks our responsibility as a global partner to restore and protect the environment for future generations,” said PCC President Mark Mitsui.

Mitsui serves on the steering committee of Second Nature, a nonprofit that coordinates the higher education portion of the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition, representing more than 350 colleges and universities. PCC was one of the first signatories of this coalition.

“The good news about the Administration’s announcement is that it will spur increased momentum in the U.S. — among cities, businesses, colleges, health care organizations, and many other groups — to mobilize around the need to control climate change,” said Mitsui.

“There is much that all of us can and should do, locally and globally, to address this challenge, and higher education plays a large role in finding a solution. Engaging our campuses in best practices, educating the clean tech workforce, raising awareness of sustainable practices across sectors, and developing the next generation of leaders in climate action and sustainability are the ways PCC will continue to demonstrate that we’re still in,” he said.

On Nov. 4, the Trump Administration formalized its intention to pull out of the internationally-supported Paris Agreement on Climate Change. For details, visit the WASI website.

Briar Schoon, PCC’s Sustainability manager, added, “Our commitment to Second Nature and WASI is central to PCC’s sense of community — locally, regionally, nationally and globally — and to our values as an institution. Our behavior and action is crucial and makes a measurable difference to address climate change.”

PCC is a sustainability leader, domestically and abroad. The college is a founding member of the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, a United Nations University Regional Center of Expertise on education for sustainable development. In 2017, PCC garnered the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for two-year colleges, a prestigious, national honor. This was followed by participation in the Center of the Parties 23 conference in Bonn, Germany, as part of WASI, where Mitsui spoke on the panel, “U.S. Higher Education Institutions: Forces for Global Climate Action.”

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About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to nearly 70,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.
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